(Last Updated on : 11/04/2012)
Radio theatre in Karnataka has no direct connection with the stage, professional or amateur, its indirect influence on the modern playwright, actor, and on some aspects of stage-production seems to be unmistakable. The Radio Kannada theatre play has grown in volume and variety during the last two decades, bringing an awareness of new and varying themes, and creating a taste for them. Mythological and historical plays are no less popular than the social ones on the air. With an equal emphasis on different modes like the prose play, opera, folk play, fantasy and the children's play, the radio provides a panorama of the various manifestations of the Kannada theatre
through its own specialised medium.
Radio adaptations of many a "classical" stage play brought back the old playwrights again. The radio has thus substantially helped to revive the old themes of the theatre, at the same time encouraging modern experiments. The radio-play has its own technique and great possibilities. It is essentially a sound picture, a "play for the blind"; it has to say all that it desires to say through sounds, words and music.
It has, thus, to concentrate on the best use of voice, words and music. It trains the erstwhile stage actor to avoid the sing song manner of speech, the ranting about and the tearing a passion to tatters which is so commonly seen on the stage. The radio play has also been able to deal convincingly with a large number of themes - many of which are beyond the scope of the stage - mainly through a careful blending of effect-music, sounds and calculated methods of speech. Kama of Kailasam, Ritu Yatre of Karanth, Sudra Tapasvi of Puttappa and other plays and operas written in the grand manner lend themselves more easily and effectively to radio production than to stage production. Pure literary plays, fantasies as well as intimate family pictures suit the radio. Themes where in Nature in any of its varied manifestations like floods, rain and thunder, earthquake or volcano has intimate role to play, suit the radio much more than the stage. The requirements and conditions of the radio, when applied to the stage production, would necessarily be for the latter's benefit. So far as the playwright is concerned, the radio has impressed on him the benefits of brevity and sharpness in dialogue; it has taught him the secrets of intelligent arrangement of thoughts and words. With regard to the theme, an organic development of the plot, characterisation and intelligent dialogue, what would suit the radio may as well suit the stage and that is how, many a Kannada playwright has written both for the radio and the stage.